We got up at about 8:00 this morning (I think it's official--we may actually be somewhat adjusted to the time change now). We relaxed around the condo in Maui for a little bit, and then started packing. By the time we got everything packed up and cleaned up, it was time to head to the airport.
It was pretty sad to leave Maui. We had such a great time there, and the condo we stayed in was beautiful. After we get back home, I plan to write up full reviews (with a ton of pictures) of each condo we stayed in and post it to the blog for anyone interested in possibly staying there. We were really pleased with our experience at The Mahana, and would highly recommend it to those who might prefer a condo over a hotel (we sure did).
We stopped to drop off our snorkel gear at the rental shop, and then made the approximately 40 minute drive to the airport.
We were kind of late getting to the airport, but didn't have any problems dropping off the rental car and then checking in for our flight. We had plenty of time.
I was a bit scared of the plane. As you saw in my post earlier, it was a small prop plane. I prefer the big ones, haha. But it was fine. A nice flight (so short--less than an hour), and you get to see the different islands as you fly over.
Once we landed in Kauai, the airport was easy to navigate (it is so small). Our bags took forever to get out to the carousel. Or, I should say, it took us forever to find them. Once we had waited for what seemed like a really long time, I actually took off to the rental car headquarters to try to pick up our car while Michael continued to wait for the bags. As it turned out, they came out on a different carousel than we were originally told, so they were sitting over to the side waiting for us to find them. *sigh*
Meanwhile, I was in the slowest moving car rental line EVER. Which reminds me, I really want to call National and complain about the service we received today. We waited well over a half an hour in the stupid line just to get our rental contract. It was ridiculous. There was only one woman working at the desk, and with every customer, it took her eons to wait on them. Michael eventually ended up meeting up with me since it took so long, and we continued to wait and wait and wait. Of course, when we got up there, our contract didn't seem to take so long--I have no idea why. The other customers suck, I suppose.
As if that weren't bad enough... we get on the shuttle to go to the rental car lot, and the driver drops us off in the convertible "section" with another family (who was also renting a convertible), and says, "Those two convertibles to my right, you take those." We get off and he drives away... and only then do we find out that the two convertibles he motioned to? Well, both of them have "DEAD BATTERY" written on the driver's windows in grease pen. LOVELY.
We look around, and there were tons of other convertibles. But upon inspection of them, they are all either a) filthy dirty inside, or b) the gas tank was not full. Obviously these were cars that had been returned and had not yet been serviced. So we start to look around for someone to help us. This woman comes out of a booth and gives us attitude about how they only have two service agents and we need to be patient. Patient, my ass. I'm sorry, but we have already been screwing around the stupid rental car place for an hour now, and we were pissed.
The other family ended up taking a convertible out of the returned car lot (I guess they were satisfied enough with it) and taking off. Finally, a guy comes over and says he's getting us a car. We see him pull a convertible out of the line (freshly washed), and then he takes off... off the lot! Michael and I are looking at each other like what the hell, and the lady comes out of her booth again and says the guy has to go put gas in the car. Seriously... what the hell. What is the point of making a reservation if they don't have any cars ready for you??
The guy came back and gave us the car, which turned out to be really nice, actually. It's brand new--only had 320 miles on it when we climbed in. But ugh, what an inconvenience that whole thing was.
We plugged in the condo's address into our GPS and took off. The drive from the airport was really nice. Only about 20-25 minutes, and the scenery was pretty.
Kauai looks a lot different than Maui. For one, all of the areas we have been in so far have been pretty quiet and sort of rural looking. We stayed in a pretty "hustle and bustle" area in Maui, so this is a change. And just the scenery itself is different... Kauai is a lot more green.
We "checked in" to our condo (and I use that term loosely, since we basically checked ourselves in... they don't have a manned desk here. You just sign in the book, and you get your keys out of a lockbox next to the front door of each condo--the owners gave us the code). We took some pictures, unpacked a few things, and then headed back out again.
We decided to stop and rent our snorkel gear to get that out of the way. We don't want to be running any of these errands tomorrow! That took longer than expected, too (figures). The guy didn't know what he was doing with the computer. Gotta love it. But we have our stuff now and should be able to snorkel right outside of our condo tomorrow. We've already seen some sea turtles swimming around out there.
After that, we stopped at a grocery store to pick up a few snacks and essentials. We also decided we wanted to make dinner in the condo tonight, so we picked up all the ingredients for salad, pasta, and meat sauce.
We went to Big Save because it was the most convenient. "Big Save" is not exactly the best way to describe it, but oh well. In Maui, we noticed that things were definitely more expensive than they are on the mainland, but we also didn't really see what all the "Hawaii is SOOO expensive!" fuss is all about. The prices aren't that bad. But we were treated to our first real sticker shock at Big Save. Like... $7 for a bag of salad. Or $7.50 for a gallon milk (we got a half gallon, haha!). $5.30 for a box of cereal (the STORE brand!). But hey, we're on vacation... we're not going to worry about it.
Michael and I aren't much for eating out. We both like to eat fairly healthy, so we eat home most of the time. After being here almost a week now, we're kind of sick of restaurants. After a day of frustration, we just wanted to be "home" for the night.
We unpacked the groceries, cracked open a few Coronas, shared some crackers and cheese, and started on dinner.
Gotta love that view while cooking dinner, eh? :) We loved cooking in this kitchen. It's so beautiful!
Our finished product. So good. It really hit the spot, and it was nice to have a home cooked meal tonight.
We ate at the table overlooking the ocean. It doesn't get much better than that! Then we cleaned up (and watched some "Dodgeball" on TBS). We took a little walk outside around the property and down the street to get a feel for everything. We are right next door to the Beach House Restaurant--famous with all of the knotties--and we actually have reservations for later this week. It looks beautiful, we can't wait to go.
Not totally sure yet what our plans are for tomorrow... we're interested in surfing lessons, as well as kayaking. And of course snorkeling and hiking/sightseeing. We'll see what the morning brings!
Oh, and Happy Birthday to my Mom! Love you. Let me know if there is anything Hawaiian you'd like me to bring back for you. :)